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December Friday Retreat Style. . .


After a long week [the final week of classes this semester/term] of responding to last minute, panicked student emails -- Almost always, they create their own problems. -- and committee meetings of one kind or another, it is finally Friday with a relatively easy day ahead.  I have a midday lunch retreat with program colleagues, which I am looking forward to.  These are always fairly informal, fun discussions with a pleasant group of interesting people and personalities from around the world.  So why not don a bit of celebratory dress for the occasion?

The only "new" item here is a vintage silk bow tie from J. Press -- in seasonally appropriate colors -- that is seeing its inaugural wearing today.  Managed to nail tying it on the first try this morning, so it has only taken about a dozen attempts in the last 12 months to learn.  As I mentioned in an earlier post this month, I do not plan to go full bow tie on everyone, but now and again, these items are a neat way to shake up the usual mix.

The socks are a bit much with this particular combination, admittedly, but I could not manage to dig out some plain navy or dark green from the related dresser drawer in the early morning light, and grabbed these instead.  Let's just say that it is always good to include one item that doesn't quite work with everything else to avoid an overly studied appearance.

The Optimo 'Dearborn' fedora garnered a compliment and smile from a female passerby on my walk from the parking lot into the library cafe this morning, which was a pleasant start to the day.  Two other favorable comments followed later in the day about the bow tie and overall appearance respectively.  Never necessary, as I say, but compliments are always nice to hear from people who notice. 

On a related note, my wife, The Grand Duchess, once lobbed the epithet 'eccentric' at me during a lighthearted conversation several years ago.  After laughing  for a minute, or two, I replied, 

"Me?  Eccentric?  How am I eccentric?"  Her retort was priceless.

"How are you NOT eccentric?"  She then proceeded to enumerate in great detail about a dozen habits, interests, and hobbies that, I guess upon reflection, plant me squarely in the neighborhood of terminal eccentricity.  Funny.  It never occurred to me.

In my wife's view, how I dress looms large in all of this.  But as I occasionally point out, with tongue firmly in cheek, 

"You didn't HAVE to marry me!  We could still call Judge F. [the man who married us] to decertify everything."  Laughter and eye rolling all around.  

Following The Young Master's bedtime, we will open a bottle of wine and enjoy it by the fireside this evening, possibly across the Scrabble board, and to the tune of soft Christmas jazz, or German language carols.  Happy Friday, everyone!

-- Heinz-Ulrich


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